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Copyright ownership

I'm a ltd company who was subcontracted to complete graphic/web design services to a creative agency. I have never received payment and there is a CCJ registered against the company who has admitted the debt. Currently progressing to high court action. As we have never been paid for the work, we still own copyright on the design work which is now being used by the defendants clients. Can we instruct the defendants clients to cease using the design work (primarily web design)?


Staff member
Is the client aware of the issues? It might be worth giving them the opportunity to pay you directly for the work before issuing a cease and desist. After all, they'll have to pay someone to re-do everything anyway so why shouldn't it be you.

Dave L

Well-Known Member
Tricky. This is the reason most supplier contracts I'm party to forbid the use of sub-contracting arrangements. My first step would be to approach the client to explain the situation and seek their thoughts on a remedy. I'm not entirely sure that they're not within their rights if they had no knowledge of your involvement: the issue for both of you is with the agency and I'm not sure you can visit your woes on the end user in these circumstances.

See this:

... it is generally considered reasonable for a person to believe that a supplier or contractor will obtain all the necessary licences. Therefore, possessing goods in circumstances where you did not know or have reason to believe that the goods infringe the rights of others presents a good defence to allegations of secondary infringement.

Source: Unwitting infringements and the law